The George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology has announced a new course focused on preparing students to successfully navigate the worst employment environment since the Great Depression. Open to all students at Webster University, MNGT 3100: Issues in Management: Walker EDGE Professional Development, is a new three credit-hour course focused on providing strategic professional preparation and a hands-on approach to conduct a successful job search. Through an intensive classroom experience, mock interviews and other aspects of professional development, students will become familiar with the current job market, personal branding, resume and cover letter preparation, pre-interview research, interviewing skills, networking, internship opportunities and much more.
“This is a must-take course for our students because it offers a deep preparation to explore and define career goals that will enable their transformation from college to the workplace,” said Benjamin Akande, Dean of the Walker School. “And in the Post-Great Recession Era, having these tools is a necessity.”
Two sections of MNGT 3100: Issues in Management: Walker EDGE Professional Development will be offered in spring 2014.
Spring Semester, Section 10
Spring Term II – Section 03
Students can register for the course through Connections (under the student tab, “Student Academic Services” Channel). Space is limited, so students are encouraged to register early.
On Nov. 20, Patrick Mulcahy, Chairman of the Board of Energizer Holdings, shared stories from his career with students, friends and community members at the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology Speaker Series. His presentation, “14 Lessons on Leadership” highlighted business rules he has learned throughout his career.
Benjamin Akande, dean of the Walker School, opened the event by sharing a few words about Mulcahy. “In his more than 40 years in business, our speaker has found redemption in the honest work of cultivating ideas,” he said.
Mulcahy began his professional career as a product manager trainee at Ralston Purina, and over the years, he held various positions in marketing and new products. When Purina acquired Eveready Battery Company in 1986, he became Chairman and CEO. During his tenure as chief executive, he presided over key initiatives that helped launch groundbreaking innovations – lithium batteries and led bulbs; the marketing campaign for the creation of the Energizer Bunny; and the company’s eventual spin-off to Energizer.
“Pat is a rare leader because he possesses two seemingly impossible attributes that are attributed to greatness: the ability to transform and serve the organization,” Akande said. “He is a pioneer of multi-billion dollar companies, and yet he will be the first to admit that his success has come from personal sacrifices, a willingness to collaborate with others, and the acknowledgement of their contributions. If there is one defining attribute of Pat Mulcahy, it is that humility is his constant companion.”
Mulcahy’s presentation included stories from his career – from the early days working on the Puppy Chow business at Purina, to his stint in operations and his work with acquisitions. In reflecting on his past, he said his goal as a young man was to have a job that would enable him to own a house, buy a car and put his kids through college. “I have been blessed with jobs that I have enjoyed, and I’ve been able to work with people I’ve liked and people who have liked me,” he said.
Mulcahy reminded the young people in the audience that they have their entire careers ahead of them. “You can be whomever you dream to be,” he said. “Your career is not a sprint; I encourage you to find ways to keep your mind busy and stay active.”
Some of the other nuggets of wisdom shared by Mulcahy include:
- When changing jobs, bet on people; you have to like the people you are working with.
- Consider the reversibility of a decision before making it, and if you make a bad decision, reverse quickly.
- Clear your desk; focus on the big stuff.
- Live one day at a time; you have to be opportunistic.
- Have fun and keep a sense of humor.
- Disasters are wonderful; you can learn more from your mistakes than from your successes.
On Nov. 13, students, friends and community members gathered to hear Louis Susman, former United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, present “The Transatlantic Alliance: Past, Present and Future” at the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology Success to Significance Speaker Series. Appointed by President Barack Obama, Susman served in this capacity from 2009 to 2013.
Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande, dean of the Walker School, opened the event by welcoming Susman to Webster University and sharing background on his life and career. “A longtime support of Democratic Party candidates, he is regarded as one of the most prolific fundraisers in the history of American politics,” Akande said. “His experience in global corporate business laid the groundwork for something even more profound; an opportunity to serve his country to advance America’s interest abroad.” Read Akande’s full remarks.
During his presentation, Ambassador Susman shared stories from his ambassadorship, including his interactions with President Obama, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and the Ambassador of China, among others. He also offered his perspective on Syria, Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and noted the strength of the United States’ alliance with the United Kingdom. “Our relationship (with the United Kingdom) is the strongest it has ever been, especially given the history of the alliance,” he said. “The United States and the United Kingdom are in lockstep – bound by our unshakable belief in liberty, equality, universal rights and human dignity.”
View photos from the event. Read the article, “Lou Susman, top Democratic financier and former ambassador, talks politics and foreign affairs,” in the St. Louis Beacon to learn more.
Dr. Benjamin Akande, dean of the Walker School of Business & Technology, discussed the impact of the merger between U.S. Airlines and American Airlines with Fox 2 News. In his interview, Dr. Akadne said the merger will result in more affordable options and more direct fights. Watch the interview for more insights into how this deal will benefit consumers.
Jim Brasfield, Ph.D., professor of management and author of the book, Health Policy: The Decade Ahead, discussed the Affordable Care Act with CNBC. In the article, “Young Female with Pricey Tastes: Kentucky Obamacare Numbers,” Dr. Brasfield explains why more women than men are enrolling in private insurance plans.
“I think women are more likely to be users of health care, and women have children, single women with children, who may be concerned [with] making sure their kids have health care,” said Brasfield. “Let’s face it, for a lot of things women are more conscientious than men … a lot of men may go two or three years and not go to the doctor.”
Dr. Maurice “Moe” Buford, Webster University Memphis NSA faculty member and NSA Speaker Series team member, recently completed the Marine Corps Marathon with a finishing time of 4:47. Following the race, Dr. Bueford shared a few lessons he has learned in the process.
- Move beyond excuses
- Be comfortable with being uncomfortable
- Finish well within your pacer
“As an adjunct professor for the Walker School, I constantly remind students of these same lessons, just like the pacer I used during the marathon,” Dr. Buford said. ”I am excited and committed to being that source of encouragement for the next generation of leaders!”
After working for a year as an ACE (American Council on Education) Fellow at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., Debbie Psihountas, Ph.D., associate professor of finance and director of the MBA program, is settling back into her life at Webster University in St. Louis, Mo. In the November 2013 edition of Women in Higher Education, Dr. Psihountas reflects on the professional and personal lessons she learned from the experience in the article entitled, “Leadership Development 101: Mother and Daughter.” She said that not only did this become an incredibly important leadership development year for her, but it was an equally important leadership development experience for her then 12-year-old daughter Melina.
“Reflecting on my experience and the many things I’d learned over the year, I realized that my daughter had grown and developed too. Melina was talking about college and even thinking about what field she’d choose. She learned that she could start over and make new friends. She’d figured out how to get around new impediments, such as making one small faux pax and ‘everyone knows about it.’ And she’d seen her mom take a risk and face the unknown in the hopes of learning new things and growing, and she too had developed the courage to face new challenges and to grow.”
Read Dr. Psihountas’ article for additional insight into the leadership lessons she gained as a mom and an educator while serving as an ACE Fellow.
On Nov. 2, students from across the region participated in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) programming contest at the Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University. As one of the biggest and most influential programming contests internationally, the contest pits teams of three university students against eight or more complex, real-world problems, with a grueling five-hour deadline. Huddled around a single computer, competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance.
This year, nearly 40 students took part in the competition, representing schools including: Webster University, Saint Louis University, McKendree University, Lindenwood University, Principia College, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) and Missouri Science and Technology. Webster University’s team, Gorlok 1, finished third in the competition.
Xiaoyuan Suo, assistant professor for math and computer science, organized the event and coached Webster University’s team. While only the first and second place teams will advance to a national competition, Suo said she is proud of her students. ”Webster University was well represented in the competition because of our outstanding students.” This year, Webster University’s team moved up four spots from last year to 24th in the region. “I want to commend Isaac Brodsky, Eric Bright and Kevin Pierce for their performance on Gorlok 1; they are three extremely talented young men.”
While most people don’t think about the potential security concerns that could arise on a cruise ship, Al Marcella, Ph.D., professor of management for the Walker School of Business & Technology, explains a scenario that could happen while passengers are away at sea: an outbreak caused by an unknown source affects more than 2,500 passengers on-board a 249,000-ton cruise ship. In the article, “If You Were the Ship’s Captain, What Would YOU Have Done?”, which is published in Disaster Recovery Journal, Dr. Marcella presents critical questions a cruise ship captain should be prepared to address if faced with a similar situation.
“Disaster events are not limited to geography, element or target,” Dr. Marcella notes. ”Incident management and disaster preparedness professionals must remain mindful of any potential source that may have the capability of evolving into a situation that places an organization at risk.”
Dr. Marcella is an internationally recognized public speaker and researcher with 36 years of experience in IT audit, security and assessing internal controls. His article is intended as a resource for industry professionals and organizations to use as they evaluate their incident management response plans.
As Twitter approaches its IPO, Benjamin Ola. Akande, dean of the Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University, weighs-in on the company’s future and shares his thoughts on Jack Dorsey, the co-founder, creator and chairman. In the article, he acknowledges the impact of Dorsey’s St. Louis roots on innovation and says he embodies the qualities of a leader of a groundbreaking business — a sense of urgency, perseverance, vision and a willingness to take risks. His remarks entitled, “@Jack: #Twitter = #SuccessStory” are published in the St. Louis Business Journal’s Nov. 1-7 edition.
@Jack: #Twitter = #SuccessStory
There are two sides to every story and the story of Twitter is no different. With the company approaching its IPO, critics have emerged from the woodwork to take knocks at co-founder, creator and chairman Jack Dorsey. While some of the criticism can be overlooked, statements about his business intellect are off-base.
Dorsey embodies the qualities of a leader of a groundbreaking business — a sense of urgency, perseverance, vision and a willingness to take risks. His leadership and entrepreneurial spirit have had a significant impact on Twitter, and his role as the face of Twitter convinced many investors to join the company, helping strengthen it further. During the last eight years, Twitter has become the definitive equation of our time, not just for its simplicity, but for its exponential potential of increase, and Dorsey played a key role in the process. At 232 million users strong, it’s clear to see how his vision has created a new equation: 1+1 = countless possibilities.
For those of us in St. Louis, it is no surprise that Dorsey would immediately recognize the potential of Twitter and preach the idea to so many others. St. Louis has become the new environment for innovation. A few years ago, he hosted a Tweetup at Webster University, located just a few miles from the city’s center, and he shared his story. A St. Louis native, he grew up on Grand Avenue in Compton Heights, an older suburb of the city, and graduated from Bishop DuBourg High School, a Catholic institution.
In sharing Twitter’s story during the Tweetup, Dorsey said that immediacy is one of the biggest gifts you can give people because it allows them to create, consume, participate and observe. With Twitter, there are no barriers or walls, only ownership. As noted in the book entitled, “Twitterville,” the company’s worth is not only about the ability to broadcast short messages, but also the ongoing and transformative conversations that these tweets ignite. Succinct and precise, Twitter has emerged as the go-to-place for information.
But let’s not forget the history of how Twitter was first rolled out. In its early days, there were plenty of skeptics, especially those who kept comparing it with the superpower of social media, Facebook. It was Dorsey who had the inherent nose for business that he was raised with in St. Louis that told him the critics were wrong.
And, of course, we now know that he was right. Factor in the platform’s demographics and its clear to see how this tool is enabling conversations and equalizing the ultimate equation, the racial divide, and even breaking it down. According to the Pew Research Center, Twitter’s user base is 26 percent African American, 19 percent Hispanic and 14 percent white. Based on these numbers, it’s evident that Twitter is leveling the playing field. The company’s financials tell a promising story. According to reports, Twitter is approaching Wall Street with double the revenue that LinkedIn reported ahead of its own IPO in 2011. Also, its base of active users is expanding at more than 40 percent per year; stronger than the pre-IPO numbers of LinkedIn and on pace with Facebook.
With its worldwide user base and an initial IPO valuation expected to exceed $20 billion, Twitter has dismantled the constraints and boundaries of time and space between people as it continues to exceed the odds for an Internet startup. This level of success could not have been achieved without Dorsey. A developer with a dream, his idea forever changed the way we communicate.